Spring is finally here, for real. Summer beckons like never before, after a year of covid shutdowns. We are itching to get out of quarantine, and look forward to summer days free of restrictions on activities and travel. Kids, as always, are looking forward to an end to school.
One of my favorite memories is attending church camp in the summer, living “in the woods” for a week, and sleeping in a sleeping bag with a cabin full of giggly girls: I started looking forward to it long before school was out.
What made those memories so special to me? First of all, it was an adventure like no other in my life. I made friends with girls I never would have met, and even more importantly with loving counselors who taught me about God. Every day was full of fun! We hiked and swam and played games. We ate together in a big hall, and tables of girls from one cabin would sing songs to tables of girls from another. We had a craft time and learned how to braid necklaces and bracelets. We learned about the Bible and had wonderful worship services with the greatest singing ever! The best part was the campfire at night. You could see the firelight reflecting off the huge fir trees around the campfire and on the faces of the girls on the other side of the circle. Sparks flying up from the fire seemed to me to be the prayers we were sending up to God. The singing changed there; it seemed hushed and reverent, and God was very close. Those evenings were like another baptism: I was sealed by the Holy Spirit and marked with the cross of Christ forever.
I urge all parents to make sending their kids to church camp a priority for the summer. We Lutherans have a wonderful camp in the mountains. “[Campers] worship together at the beginning and end of each day. We also do daily Bible Study together. We engage in quiet time to have a brief chance to be alone with the Word before God. We thank God before all our meals. And there are all kinds of unscheduled times when we find our faith deepened as well. Our prayer for you during your week at camp is for you to grow in your faith. Faith shapes our life together at Luther Heights.”* Registrations are open for kids’ summer camps now at the Luther Heights registration page:
But, even better, the camp experience doesn’t have to end! “At 7,200 ft., Luther Heights is surrounded by God’s beauty of stunning views of the mountains, alpine lakes, and pine trees. All generations of guests enjoy walking along the trails to their log cabins, relaxing in an Adirondack chair with a view of the meadow, hiking or swimming or canoeing all day, winding down with a family-style meal in the community lodge, and ending the day around a campfire. Luther Heights Bible Camp is dedicated to fulfilling our mission to share God’s love with all generations as we grow in faith, live by grace, and love one another.”*
Many options are available for family camps and adult retreats. It is the finest way I know to take a vacation, even for a weekend. Beautiful trees, mountains, and a lake create the view. Programs that challenge and bless are scheduled, with times for singing and eating together. This is my shameless plug for Luther Heights: do everything you can to make it a part of your summer!
*Quotes are taken from Luther Heights website:
My prayer for today is my favorite song from girls’ camp: